Negotiation Skills Training


At the core, negotiation skills encompass back-and-forth communication designed to reach an agreement between two or more parties who are in conflict. Negotiation is an intrinsic part of any kind of joint action, problem solving, and dispute resolution, and may be verbal, nonverbal, explicit, implicit, direct, or through intermediaries.

Negotiators can improve their negotiation skills through confidence-boosting training, practice, and thorough preparation. In fact, simply acknowledging your fears is an important first step in improving your negotiation skills.

Here are three negotiation skills that will help you achieve better outcomes in your personal and professional negotiations.

  1. Many negotiation scholars advocate meeting in person rather than communicating by phone or e-mail. As convenient as electronic media may be, they lack the visual cues offered by body language in negotiation that help convey valuable information and forge connections in face-to-face talks.
  2. Before talks begin, identify key questions and guarantees that you’ll need from the other side. It’s also important to form a relationship with your counterpart by spending time together and sharing information. Take a potential business partner to a sporting event or out to dinner and try to get a sense of her character. The deeper the relationship, the more likely your counterpart will be to treat you like a friend rather than like a passing acquaintance when you negotiate.
  3. Finally, before and during negotiation, seek out others who have achieved favorable outcomes in similar situations. No deal is perfect, but your odds of reaching a satisfying agreement improve when you feel confident that your goals match outcomes earned by others in similar circumstances.
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